Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Terrible Secret of Space

This is the real idea that forced me to finally join the blogging class. I've figured out a way to share the board game experience across the trackless wastes of the internet. No, not the "hanging out with your friends" bit. Or the "exulting over your friend's inglorious defeat" bit either. The planning and plotting, the arguing over strategy, the careful attempts to wring every last bit of advantage from your resources that make board games the test of intelligence that they are. Let me try and show you.

Imagine the sort of board game you'd play if you had all the time and patience in the world. A huge game, dripping with strategy, and vastly complex. A game simulating a total war between two alien races occurring over the vast distances of space. Multiple planets, multiple resources, multiple types of ships all with their own strengths and weaknesses. The sort of game you see in war movies, with the strategic command poring over, moving pieces with their T sticks. Wouldn't that be an awesome game?

Here's how I'm going to work it; it'll be a two player game. On the one side are the players, on the other is the game. Every week I'll advance the game one turn. On the start of the player's turn I'll describe the results of the previous turns and enemy actions taken in the intervening time. Then I discuss the major lines of play as I see them. At which point you, the viewing public, the internet, the hive mind et. al. get to argue the strategy out. At the end of the week I use the best line of play from the strategy arguments, progress the game and we start over.

The advantage of this system is that we get to take our strategy to a level not often seen outside of chess-by-mail. It enforces patience and thoughtfulness in a way that no normal board or computer game does. It also allows a board game to take on complicated mechanics that you'd usually want a computer to keep track of, stuff that in a normal board game would make people groan at upkeep and memory issues.

The downside is that the game will be ploddingly slow. I hope you really like strategy arguments, because that'll be all that'll hold you over between insufficient amounts of action. Oh, and it's labor intensive on my side, which I hope won't concern you overly much.

So what's the game all about? That'll be the subject of another post...

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